GUWAHATI: Ten-year-old Yashvir Aalam Islam wonders as to why his name was not included in draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) published by the Assam government on Monday. The Class IV boy of Guwahati, who aspires to play cricket for India, argues how he could be left out when the names of his parents - Baharul Islam and Afrida Hussain - figured on the list. His parents had submitted his passport and birth certificate but still he could not make the cut.
"He asks me frequently on why his name was not included in draft NRC. He knows about the issue of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants and the demand by groups and organisations that they should be driven out of Assam," Afrida, who is a journalist, told TNIE. "We are sure his name will be included following filing of claims and objections. However, the exclusion of his name from the draft will leave a psychological effect on him," the mother says. They are Assamese Muslims, hailing from eastern Assam's Sivasagar district.
Yashvir is not the lone kid to have missed the NRC bus. There are many. In the 24-member joint family of Narendra Chandra Das of Rangapara in northern Assam's Sonitpur district, five, including a 12-year-old boy, missed out. Nonagenarian Das and his octogenarian wife Saraju Das had their names in the list. However, one of their grandchildren, Korak Das who is a Class VII student, his parents - Pradip Das and Papia Das - and two other members missed out.
"We had submitted Korak's birth certificate, issued by a government authority, as a proof of citizenship, yet, his name did not appear. We will file claims and objections seeking inclusion of the names of our five family members," Korak's uncle Swapan Das said. Little does four-year-old Dhrittiraj Nag understand about NRC. In the eight-member family of Nags from eastern Assam's Tinsukia town, three - Dhrittiraj, his father Munna Nag and grandfather Dhananjay Nag - missed out. "We had submitted his birth certificate issued by a government hospital. Still, his name was not included," Munna said, adding "Our grandfather was a moujadar in West Bengal. We had submitted a copy of his service certificate of 1952 while applying for inclusion of our names in NRC".
NRC state coordinator Prateek Hajela told TNIE there were many cases where parents submitted forged documents. "There are cases where the parents submitted a proper document for a child but gave a forged document for the second child by obtaining it through a middleman," he said. Asked about those who missed out, he said, "We will find out during the process of claims and objections if they can come up with something additional or maybe, we will work out a mechanism by which we will determine the truth of linkage". Talking about the kind of documents which NRC authorities accepted, Hajela said there was no stipulation but the document should be a legally-admissible document. "Even if the legal admissibility is not there, we will give them a hearing and determine on investigation method," he added.